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Statement on the Fair Sentencing Act

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 28, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

Madam Speaker, I rise in reluctant support for S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act.  My support is reluctant because S. 1789 is an uncomfortable mix of some provisions that reduce the harms of the federal war on drugs and other provisions that increase the harms of that disastrous and unconstitutional war.  I am supporting this legislation because I am optimistic the legislation’s overall effect will be positive.

Congress should be looking critically at how we can extricate America from the four decades of destruction that has ensued since President Richard Nixon announced the federal war on drugs in 1972.  As a medical doctor with over 30 years’ experience, I certainly recognize the dangers that can arise from drug abuse.  However, experience shows that the federal drug war creates many additional dangers, while failing to reduce the problems associated with drug abuse.  Like 14 years of federal alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and ’30s, America’s federal drug war has failed to ameliorate the problems associate with drug use, while fostering violence and disrespect for individual rights.

While imperfect, I am optimistic that the Senate bill being considered today will reduce the harms of the federal drug war.  I also hope consideration of this legislation will enliven interest in ending the federal war on drugs.

It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is today considering this compromise legislation from the Senate instead of Rep. Bobby Scott’s HR 3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act.  I am an original cosponsor of Rep. Scott’s bill, which passed the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on July 29, 2009—one year ago tomorrow.  Rep. Scott’s legislation is a short and simple bill that repeals a handful of clauses, sentences, and subparagraphs of federal drug laws to eliminate the 100 to one drug weight basis for sentencing disparity for crack cocaine violations in comparison to powder cocaine violations.

I will vote for the Senate legislation today because it rolls back some of the enhanced mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine that the federal government created in 1986.  These enhanced mandatory minimum sentences have caused people convicted for small amounts of crack cocaine to serve much longer sentences in prison than people convicted for the same amount of powder cocaine.

While the Senate legislation reduces the drug weight basis for mandatory minimum sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine convictions for many individuals to only 18 to one compared to the total elimination of the disparity in Rep. Scott’s bill, the Senate bill does make a step in the right direction.  The Senate bill eliminates entirely the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine and reduces significantly the mandatory minimum sentence for many people convicted of crack offenses by raising the number of grams of crack cocaine a person must possess for each mandatory minimum sentence level to apply.  In addition, the Senate bill allows courts to show compassion for individuals with compelling cases for leniency by reducing sentences for some people convicted of controlled substances violations who a court determines meet requirements including having minimum knowledge of the illegal enterprise, receiving no monetary compensation from the illegal transaction, and being motivated by threats, fear, or an intimate or family relationship.

Unfortunately, while the Senate bill reduces some of the most extreme and unjust mandatory minimum sentences in the federal drug war, it also contains expansions of the federal drug war that I fear may yield results destructive to individual liberty and public safety.  In particular, the Senate bill significantly increases maximum allowed monetary penalties for violations of federal restrictions on controlled substances and increases sentences for people convicted of controlled substances violations whose circumstances include certain aggravating factors.

Some people will argue that the increased penalties in the Senate legislation are desirable because they target people who are high up in the illegal drug trade or who took particularly disturbing actions, such as involving a minor in drug trafficking.  But, the history of the federal drug war has shown that ramping up penalties always results in increasing rather than decreasing the harms arising from the federal drug war.  Such enhanced penalties increase the risks of the drug trade thus causing illegal drug operations to be more ruthless and violent in their tactics.  Enhanced penalties also can result in even more inflated prices for illegal drugs, leading to more thefts by individuals seeking funds to support their drug use.  High monetary fines for drug trafficking also tend to provide police and prosecutors with a perverse incentive to focus on nonviolent drug crimes instead of violent crimes.

Each successive ramping up of the federal war on drugs has made it more evident that this war is incompatible with constitutional government, individual liberty, and prosperity.  It is time for Congress to reverse course.  I am optimistic that S. 1789—even with its faults—may signal that Congress is ready to begin reversing course.  It is imperative that the House of Representatives pursue a dialogue on how we can end the federal war on drugs—a war that has increasingly become a war on the American people and our Constitution.

Statement on the Fair Sentencing Act

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 28, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

Madam Speaker, I rise in reluctant support for S. 1789, the Fair Sentencing Act.  My support is reluctant because S. 1789 is an uncomfortable mix of some provisions that reduce the harms of the federal war on drugs and other provisions that increase the harms of that disastrous and unconstitutional war.  I am supporting this legislation because I am optimistic the legislation’s overall effect will be positive.

Congress should be looking critically at how we can extricate America from the four decades of destruction that has ensued since President Richard Nixon announced the federal war on drugs in 1972.  As a medical doctor with over 30 years’ experience, I certainly recognize the dangers that can arise from drug abuse.  However, experience shows that the federal drug war creates many additional dangers, while failing to reduce the problems associated with drug abuse.  Like 14 years of federal alcohol prohibition in the 1920s and ’30s, America’s federal drug war has failed to ameliorate the problems associate with drug use, while fostering violence and disrespect for individual rights.

While imperfect, I am optimistic that the Senate bill being considered today will reduce the harms of the federal drug war.  I also hope consideration of this legislation will enliven interest in ending the federal war on drugs.

It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is today considering this compromise legislation from the Senate instead of Rep. Bobby Scott’s HR 3245, the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act.  I am an original cosponsor of Rep. Scott’s bill, which passed the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on July 29, 2009—one year ago tomorrow.  Rep. Scott’s legislation is a short and simple bill that repeals a handful of clauses, sentences, and subparagraphs of federal drug laws to eliminate the 100 to one drug weight basis for sentencing disparity for crack cocaine violations in comparison to powder cocaine violations.

I will vote for the Senate legislation today because it rolls back some of the enhanced mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine that the federal government created in 1986.  These enhanced mandatory minimum sentences have caused people convicted for small amounts of crack cocaine to serve much longer sentences in prison than people convicted for the same amount of powder cocaine.

While the Senate legislation reduces the drug weight basis for mandatory minimum sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine convictions for many individuals to only 18 to one compared to the total elimination of the disparity in Rep. Scott’s bill, the Senate bill does make a step in the right direction.  The Senate bill eliminates entirely the mandatory minimum sentence for simple possession of crack cocaine and reduces significantly the mandatory minimum sentence for many people convicted of crack offenses by raising the number of grams of crack cocaine a person must possess for each mandatory minimum sentence level to apply.  In addition, the Senate bill allows courts to show compassion for individuals with compelling cases for leniency by reducing sentences for some people convicted of controlled substances violations who a court determines meet requirements including having minimum knowledge of the illegal enterprise, receiving no monetary compensation from the illegal transaction, and being motivated by threats, fear, or an intimate or family relationship.

Unfortunately, while the Senate bill reduces some of the most extreme and unjust mandatory minimum sentences in the federal drug war, it also contains expansions of the federal drug war that I fear may yield results destructive to individual liberty and public safety.  In particular, the Senate bill significantly increases maximum allowed monetary penalties for violations of federal restrictions on controlled substances and increases sentences for people convicted of controlled substances violations whose circumstances include certain aggravating factors.

Some people will argue that the increased penalties in the Senate legislation are desirable because they target people who are high up in the illegal drug trade or who took particularly disturbing actions, such as involving a minor in drug trafficking.  But, the history of the federal drug war has shown that ramping up penalties always results in increasing rather than decreasing the harms arising from the federal drug war.  Such enhanced penalties increase the risks of the drug trade thus causing illegal drug operations to be more ruthless and violent in their tactics.  Enhanced penalties also can result in even more inflated prices for illegal drugs, leading to more thefts by individuals seeking funds to support their drug use.  High monetary fines for drug trafficking also tend to provide police and prosecutors with a perverse incentive to focus on nonviolent drug crimes instead of violent crimes.

Each successive ramping up of the federal war on drugs has made it more evident that this war is incompatible with constitutional government, individual liberty, and prosperity.  It is time for Congress to reverse course.  I am optimistic that S. 1789—even with its faults—may signal that Congress is ready to begin reversing course.  It is imperative that the House of Representatives pursue a dialogue on how we can end the federal war on drugs—a war that has increasingly become a war on the American people and our Constitution.

HR 2267: the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 20, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)


Thank you Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing on  HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. While it is out of character for me, to say the least, to support a bill that regulates private transactions, I support HR 2267 because it repeals the ban on Internet gambling. The bill does not create any new federal laws; it merely establishes a process to ensure that gambling sites can comply with existing laws, and thus offer their services to adults who wish to gamble online.

The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet.

The proper role of the federal government is not that of a nanny, protecting citizens from any and every potential negative consequence of their actions.  Although I personally believe gambling to be a dumb waste of money, American citizens should be just as free to spend their money playing online poker as they should be able to buy a used car, enter into a mortgage, or invest in a hedge fund.  Risk is inherent in any economic activity, and it is not for the government to determine which risky behaviors Americans may or may not engage in.

The Internet is a powerful tool, and any censorship of Internet activity sets a dangerous precedent.  Many Americans rely on the Internet for activities as varied as watching basketball games, keeping up on international news broadcasts, or buying food and clothing.  In the last few years we have seen ominous signs of the federal government's desire to control the Internet.  The ostensible reasons are to protect Americans from sex offenders, terrorists, and the evils of gambling, but once the door is open to government intrusion, there is no telling what legitimate activity, especially political activity, might fall afoul of government authorities.

The ban on Internet gambling also forces financial institutions to act as law enforcement officers.  This is another pernicious trend that has accelerated in the aftermath of the Patriot Act, the deputization of private businesses to perform intrusive enforcement and surveillance functions that the federal government is unwilling to perform on its own.

Mr. Chairman, while I am willing to support HR 2267 as a means to repeal the total ban on internet gambling, I urge my colleagues to oppose any attempt to tax internet gambling. Taxing any commercial transition, including gambling, is an unwarranted expansion of the taxing power and will cripple the development of internet commerce. Furthermore, since the power to tax is the power to destroy, imposing taxes on internet gambling could simply morph into a backdoor way of banning gambling on the internet. If opponents of the internet gambling ban are serious about expanding individual liberty, they will oppose restricting the freedom of internet users to do what they want with their time and property by imposing taxes on the bill.

In conclusion, I urge my colleagues to support Chairman Frank's HR 2267. While not perfect these bills will take a step toward liberty by restoring the right of Americans to decide for them whether or not to gamble online.

The State of US Coins and Currency

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 20, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

I oppose the Mint's current efforts to gain greater power in determining the composition of circulating coinage.  It is unconstitutional to delegate the determination of the metal content of our coinage to the Secretary of the Treasury.  Under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, the Congress is given the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.  It is a shame that Congress has already unconstitutionally delegated its coinage authority to the Treasury Department, but that is no reason to further delegate our power and essentially abdicate Congressional oversight.

Oversight by members of Congress, who have an incentive to listen to their constituents, ensures openness and transparency.  Legislation to delegate added authority to the Mint would eliminate that process and delegate it to unelected bureaucrats.  The Secretary of the Treasury would be given sole discretion to alter the metal content of coins, or even to create non-metal coins.  Given the history of Congressional delegation and subsequent lax oversight on issues as important as the conflict in Iraq, it would be naïve to believe that Congress would exercise any more oversight over an issue as unimportant to most members as the composition of coins.

While I sympathize with the aim of saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the cost of coinage, it is disappointing that our currency has been so greatly devalued as to make this step necessary.  At the time of the penny's introduction, it actually had some purchasing power.  Based on the price of gold, what one penny would have purchased in 1910 requires 57 cents today.  It is no wonder then that few people nowadays would stoop to pick up any coin smaller than a quarter. 

Congress' unconstitutional delegation of monetary policy to the Federal Reserve and its reluctance to exercise oversight in that arena have led to a massive devaluation of the dollar.  If we fail to end this devaluation, we will undoubtedly hold future hearings as the metal value of our coins continues to outstrip the face value. 

One of the witnesses on our second panel mentions the importance of the Mint's production of bullion coinage, and the danger of counterfeited collector coins that may or may not be minted from silver or gold.  It is a shame that instead of protecting the value of the dollar to ensure that precious metal coins could still circulate as money, or enforcing counterfeiting laws to stop the flow of clearly fraudulent coins, the federal government insists on printing trillions of dollars out of thin air, and prosecuting individuals who attempt to create precious metal currencies to compete with the devalued US dollar.

The topics discussed in today's hearing exemplify how far we have fallen, not just since the days of the Founders, but only in the last 75 to 100 years.  We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard.  We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard.  Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of the currency. 

HR 2267: the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 20, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)


Thank you Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing on  HR 2267, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. While it is out of character for me, to say the least, to support a bill that regulates private transactions, I support HR 2267 because it repeals the ban on Internet gambling. The bill does not create any new federal laws; it merely establishes a process to ensure that gambling sites can comply with existing laws, and thus offer their services to adults who wish to gamble online.

The ban on Internet gambling infringes upon two freedoms that are important to many Americans: the ability to do with their money as they see fit, and the freedom from government interference with the Internet.

The proper role of the federal government is not that of a nanny, protecting citizens from any and every potential negative consequence of their actions.  Although I personally believe gambling to be a dumb waste of money, American citizens should be just as free to spend their money playing online poker as they should be able to buy a used car, enter into a mortgage, or invest in a hedge fund.  Risk is inherent in any economic activity, and it is not for the government to determine which risky behaviors Americans may or may not engage in.

The Internet is a powerful tool, and any censorship of Internet activity sets a dangerous precedent.  Many Americans rely on the Internet for activities as varied as watching basketball games, keeping up on international news broadcasts, or buying food and clothing.  In the last few years we have seen ominous signs of the federal government's desire to control the Internet.  The ostensible reasons are to protect Americans from sex offenders, terrorists, and the evils of gambling, but once the door is open to government intrusion, there is no telling what legitimate activity, especially political activity, might fall afoul of government authorities.

The ban on Internet gambling also forces financial institutions to act as law enforcement officers.  This is another pernicious trend that has accelerated in the aftermath of the Patriot Act, the deputization of private businesses to perform intrusive enforcement and surveillance functions that the federal government is unwilling to perform on its own.

Mr. Chairman, while I am willing to support HR 2267 as a means to repeal the total ban on internet gambling, I urge my colleagues to oppose any attempt to tax internet gambling. Taxing any commercial transition, including gambling, is an unwarranted expansion of the taxing power and will cripple the development of internet commerce. Furthermore, since the power to tax is the power to destroy, imposing taxes on internet gambling could simply morph into a backdoor way of banning gambling on the internet. If opponents of the internet gambling ban are serious about expanding individual liberty, they will oppose restricting the freedom of internet users to do what they want with their time and property by imposing taxes on the bill.

In conclusion, I urge my colleagues to support Chairman Frank's HR 2267. While not perfect these bills will take a step toward liberty by restoring the right of Americans to decide for them whether or not to gamble online.

The State of US Coins and Currency

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 20, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

I oppose the Mint's current efforts to gain greater power in determining the composition of circulating coinage.  It is unconstitutional to delegate the determination of the metal content of our coinage to the Secretary of the Treasury.  Under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, the Congress is given the power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.  It is a shame that Congress has already unconstitutionally delegated its coinage authority to the Treasury Department, but that is no reason to further delegate our power and essentially abdicate Congressional oversight.

Oversight by members of Congress, who have an incentive to listen to their constituents, ensures openness and transparency.  Legislation to delegate added authority to the Mint would eliminate that process and delegate it to unelected bureaucrats.  The Secretary of the Treasury would be given sole discretion to alter the metal content of coins, or even to create non-metal coins.  Given the history of Congressional delegation and subsequent lax oversight on issues as important as the conflict in Iraq, it would be naïve to believe that Congress would exercise any more oversight over an issue as unimportant to most members as the composition of coins.

While I sympathize with the aim of saving taxpayer dollars by reducing the cost of coinage, it is disappointing that our currency has been so greatly devalued as to make this step necessary.  At the time of the penny's introduction, it actually had some purchasing power.  Based on the price of gold, what one penny would have purchased in 1910 requires 57 cents today.  It is no wonder then that few people nowadays would stoop to pick up any coin smaller than a quarter. 

Congress' unconstitutional delegation of monetary policy to the Federal Reserve and its reluctance to exercise oversight in that arena have led to a massive devaluation of the dollar.  If we fail to end this devaluation, we will undoubtedly hold future hearings as the metal value of our coins continues to outstrip the face value. 

One of the witnesses on our second panel mentions the importance of the Mint's production of bullion coinage, and the danger of counterfeited collector coins that may or may not be minted from silver or gold.  It is a shame that instead of protecting the value of the dollar to ensure that precious metal coins could still circulate as money, or enforcing counterfeiting laws to stop the flow of clearly fraudulent coins, the federal government insists on printing trillions of dollars out of thin air, and prosecuting individuals who attempt to create precious metal currencies to compete with the devalued US dollar.

The topics discussed in today's hearing exemplify how far we have fallen, not just since the days of the Founders, but only in the last 75 to 100 years.  We could not maintain the gold standard nor the silver standard.  We could not maintain the copper standard, and now we cannot even maintain the zinc standard.  Paper money inevitably breeds inflation and destroys the value of the currency. 

The War That's Not a War

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 1, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

In January 1991, we went to war in the Middle East against Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s dictator who was our ally during the Iran-Iraq war. A border dispute between Kuwait and Iraq broke out after our State Department gave a green light for Hussein’s invasion.

After Iraq’s successful invasion of Kuwait we reacted with gusto and have been militarily involved in the entire region, six thousand miles from our shores, ever since. This has included Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. After twenty years of killing and a couple trillion dollars wasted, not only does the fighting continue with no end in sight, but our leaders threaten to spread our bombs of benevolence on Iran.

For most Americans, we are at war -- at war against a tactic called terrorism, not a country.

This allows our military to go any place in the world without limits as to time or place.

But how can we be at war? Congress has not declared war as required by the Constitution.

That is true, but our presidents have and Congress and the people have not objected. Congress obediently provides all the money requested for the “war.”

People are dying, bombs are dropped, our soldiers are shot at and killed.

Our soldiers wear uniforms; our enemies do not.  They are not part of any government. They have no planes, no tanks, no ships, no missiles, and no modern technology.

What kind of a war is this anyway? If it really is one. If it was a real war we would have won it by now.

Our stated goal since 9/11 has been to destroy al Qaeda. Was al Qaeda in Iraq? Not under Saddam Hussein. Our leaders lied us into invading Iraq and deceived us into occupying Afghanistan.

There’s still really no al Qaeda in Iraq and only a hundred or so in Afghanistan, yet there is no end in sight to the “war.” Could there have been other reasons for this war that is not a war?

Military victory in Afghanistan is illusive. Does anyone really know whom we are fighting and why?

Why has the war not ended? Nine years and it continues to spread. Some claim it is to keep America safe, that our soldiers are fighting and dying for our freedom, defending our Constitution. Are we being lied to in order to keep us in this spreading war, just as we were lied to in the 1960’s to keep us in Vietnam?

We own the Iraq government as we do Afghanistan’s. In Afghanistan we are fighting the Taliban-those dangerous people with guns, defending their homeland.

Once they were called the Mujahideen, our old allies, along with Osama bin Laden, in the fight to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

In that effort our CIA funded radical jihad against those nasty foreign occupiers-the Russians.

What gratitude? Those same people now resent our benevolent occupation-with a little violence thrown in.

The resistance to our presence grows as our perseverance wanes.

Our people are waking up but our officials refuse to recognize the longer we stay the greater is the support for those dedicated to the principle that Afghanistan is for Afghans, who resent all foreign occupation.

The harder we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger becomes our enemy.

When an enemy without weapons can resist an army of great strength, the most powerful of all history, one should ask, who has the moral high ground?

Military failure in Afghanistan is to be our destiny. Changing generals without changing our policies or our policy makers perpetuates our agony and delays the inevitable.

This is not a war that our generals have been trained for. Nation building, police work, social engineering is never a job for foreign occupiers and never an appropriate job for soldiers trained to win wars.

A military victory is no longer even a stated goal of our military leaders or our politicians, as they know that type of victory is impossible.

The sad story is:

This war is against ourselves, our values, our Constitution, our financial well being and common sense, and at the rate we are going, it is going to end badly. What we need are honest leaders with character and a new foreign policy.

The War That's Not a War

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on July 1, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

In January 1991, we went to war in the Middle East against Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s dictator who was our ally during the Iran-Iraq war. A border dispute between Kuwait and Iraq broke out after our State Department gave a green light for Hussein’s invasion.

After Iraq’s successful invasion of Kuwait we reacted with gusto and have been militarily involved in the entire region, six thousand miles from our shores, ever since. This has included Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. After twenty years of killing and a couple trillion dollars wasted, not only does the fighting continue with no end in sight, but our leaders threaten to spread our bombs of benevolence on Iran.

For most Americans, we are at war -- at war against a tactic called terrorism, not a country.

This allows our military to go any place in the world without limits as to time or place.

But how can we be at war? Congress has not declared war as required by the Constitution.

That is true, but our presidents have and Congress and the people have not objected. Congress obediently provides all the money requested for the “war.”

People are dying, bombs are dropped, our soldiers are shot at and killed.

Our soldiers wear uniforms; our enemies do not.  They are not part of any government. They have no planes, no tanks, no ships, no missiles, and no modern technology.

What kind of a war is this anyway? If it really is one. If it was a real war we would have won it by now.

Our stated goal since 9/11 has been to destroy al Qaeda. Was al Qaeda in Iraq? Not under Saddam Hussein. Our leaders lied us into invading Iraq and deceived us into occupying Afghanistan.

There’s still really no al Qaeda in Iraq and only a hundred or so in Afghanistan, yet there is no end in sight to the “war.” Could there have been other reasons for this war that is not a war?

Military victory in Afghanistan is illusive. Does anyone really know whom we are fighting and why?

Why has the war not ended? Nine years and it continues to spread. Some claim it is to keep America safe, that our soldiers are fighting and dying for our freedom, defending our Constitution. Are we being lied to in order to keep us in this spreading war, just as we were lied to in the 1960’s to keep us in Vietnam?

We own the Iraq government as we do Afghanistan’s. In Afghanistan we are fighting the Taliban-those dangerous people with guns, defending their homeland.

Once they were called the Mujahideen, our old allies, along with Osama bin Laden, in the fight to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

In that effort our CIA funded radical jihad against those nasty foreign occupiers-the Russians.

What gratitude? Those same people now resent our benevolent occupation-with a little violence thrown in.

The resistance to our presence grows as our perseverance wanes.

Our people are waking up but our officials refuse to recognize the longer we stay the greater is the support for those dedicated to the principle that Afghanistan is for Afghans, who resent all foreign occupation.

The harder we fight a war that is not a war, the weaker we get and the stronger becomes our enemy.

When an enemy without weapons can resist an army of great strength, the most powerful of all history, one should ask, who has the moral high ground?

Military failure in Afghanistan is to be our destiny. Changing generals without changing our policies or our policy makers perpetuates our agony and delays the inevitable.

This is not a war that our generals have been trained for. Nation building, police work, social engineering is never a job for foreign occupiers and never an appropriate job for soldiers trained to win wars.

A military victory is no longer even a stated goal of our military leaders or our politicians, as they know that type of victory is impossible.

The sad story is:

This war is against ourselves, our values, our Constitution, our financial well being and common sense, and at the rate we are going, it is going to end badly. What we need are honest leaders with character and a new foreign policy.

Statement Opposing HR 5481

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on June 24, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

Madam Speaker, I oppose HR 5481, which gives subpoena power to the National Commission on the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. This is an overly broad grant of power to a presidential commission. This commission was created by Executive Order without any input from Congress and appears designed to perform oversight and policy functions that should be performed by Congress.  Furthermore, this commission may be used to promote the anti-freedom and economically destructive “cap-and-trade” legislation, as well as provide justification for the administration’s policies of restricting offshore drilling.

 Instead of  ratifying the Executive Branch’s continued use of the deepwater disaster as an excuse to usurp more power, Congress should ensure that the Executive Brach actions do not allow  British Petroleum to escape accountability for the damages caused by the spill  and that any necessary  policy changes  are made by Congress.

Statement on H. Res. 1422

Ron Paul's House Member Office (R-TX-14) posted a Speech on June 24, 2010 | 9:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)

Madam Speaker, the House of Representatives recently considered H.RES. 1422, honoring the 140th anniversary of the Department of Justice. I voted against this resolution because of the Justice Department’s history of violating individual rights.


It is the Justice Department that leads the ongoing violations of the Fourth, Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments in the name of the “war on drugs.”  It is Justice Department agents who perform warrantless wiretap, and “sneak-and-peak” searches under the misnamed PATRIOT Act. It is the Justice Department that prosecutes American citizens for violating unconstitutional federal regulations even in cases where no reasonable person could have known their actions violated federal law.


Some like to pretend that the Justice Department’s assault on liberties is a modern phenomenon, or that abuses of liberties are only carried out by one political party. However, history shows that the unconstitutional usurpations of power and abuse of rights goes back at least almost a hundred years to the “Progressive” era and that Justice Departments of both parties have disregard the Constitution and violated individual liberties.


During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson’s Justice Department imprisoned people who dared to speak out against the war. Following the war, the progressive assault on the First Amendment continued with the infamous “Palmer raids,” named for Wilson’s Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer.  Just as President Wilson’s policies of foreign interventionism and domestic welfare served as a model for future presidents, Attorney General Palmer’s assaults on civil liberties served as a model for future attorney generals of both parties.  Think of Robert Kennedy authorizing the wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr, John Mitchell’s role in the abuses of civil liberties by Nixon Administration, Ed Meese’s assault on the First Amendment with his “pornography commission,” Janet Reno’s role in the murder of innocent men, women and children at Waco, and the steady erosion of our rights over the past decade.  In addition, it is the attorney general and the Justice Department that defend and justify violations of constitutional liberties by the president and the other federal bureaucracies.


Many civil libertarians were hopeful the new administration would be more sympathetic to civil liberties than was the prior administration. But the current administration has disregarded campaign promises to restore respect for civil liberates and has continued, and in many cases expanded, the anti-freedom policies of its predecessors.  For instance, the current administration is supporting renewal of the policies of warrantless wiretapping, and other PATRIOT Act provisions. The administration, despite promising to be more open and transparent, is also continuing to use the claim of "state secrets" to shield potentially embarrassing information from Americans.  According to the New York Times, the current administration is even outdoing its predecessors in the prosecution of government whistleblowers.  It is little wonder that the head of the American Civil Liberties Union recently said he is disgusted with the administration’s record on civil liberties.


Of course, Madam Speaker, Congress bears ultimate responsibility for the Justice Department’s actions, as it is Congress that passes the unconstitutional laws the Justice Department enforces. Congress also fails to perform effective oversight of the Justice Department. Instead of honoring the Justice Department, Congress should begin to repeal unconstitutional laws and start exercising congressional oversight of executive branch agencies that menace our freedoms.

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